These holidays I’m not going home to celebrate with my big family, which isn’t ideal. To make the festive atmosphere as vivid as possible I’ll cook food that reminds me home and my people.
Baklava was definitely at the top of the list. I kind of have this unusual relationship with baklava 😅I used to love it in the past, now I don’t really crave it for the taste, but for the memories it brings.
I had never made baklava before, but first times are my favorite, so let’s do this 😅
I tweaked a bit a family recipe of my friend R., that was sleeping in my notes since 2016, and there it was my biggest cooking challenge for this year😅
Chocolate & walnuts baklava
This baklava has 2 flavours, walnuts & chocolate. It’s like a Yin Yang baklava 😅 if you’d like to keep it classic, just omit the chocolate and cocoa, if you’d like to make it all chocolate, double the amount of chocolate & cocoa.
Syrup- I reduced the amount of sugar, and I prefer it this way, less sweet and less syrupy. Feel free to use your favorite syrup recipe.
I used a 20-30 cm pan for this baklava and it was perfect size.
Hope these (bad quality but illustrative) photos will help 🙂
- 500 g strong flour
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup (240 ml)warm milk
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 300 g melted butter divided 200g & 100 g
- 350 g walnuts (without shells)
- 200 g sugar
- 100 g dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp pure cocoa
- 750 g sugar
- 750 g water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 3 cardamom pods
- Juice of half a lemon
- Mix flour, eggs,milk, 200 g butter & vinegar until the dough is formed. Work it well for about 5-10 min. It should look sticky at first, but it will become smoother.
- Let the dough rest for 30 min covered with a kitchen towel.
- While the dough is resting prepare the filling. Put walnuts & sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times. Be careful at this point, the walnuts should be finely chopped but not turned into walnut flour.
- Divide the mixture of walnuts and sugar into 2 equal parts. Keep half of the mixture in a food processor and add chopped chocolate and the cocoa powder. Pulse a few more times. The second filling is ready.
- Once the dough has well rested prepare the battle scene 😅rolling the dough begins.Use your favorite rolling pin and get plenty of cornstarch to keep it on the side and use as we go.
- Divide the dough into 4 pieces.
- Divide each piece into 15 smaller pieces. Work the pieces gently to form small balls.Start rolling the small balls of dough one by one until they reach the size of your open palm. Use generously cornstarch while rolling so it doesn’t stick to the pin or working surface.
- Once you’ve rolled 15 small pieces of dough, put them on top of each other and start rolling together to form a big phyllo sheet.
- Now it’s time to use the rest of the butter. Brush the pan with some butter add the phyllo sheet. Brush it with butter and top half of it with walnut filling and half with chocolate filling. Use the filling smartly because we have two more layers to fill.
- Repeat the steps 7-8-9 two more times. By this time we should have 3 phyllo layers and 3 layers with the filling. We only need to prepare the last phyllo sheet to top the baklava.
- Repeat steps 7-8. Put the last phyllo sheet on top of the baklava, cut it using a sharp knife & brush it with the remaining butter.
- Put the baklava in a preheated oven at 100 C (fan option) and bake for around 1 hour. Increase the temperature to 120 C and bake for another 2 hours. Increase the temperature to 150 and bake for 1 more hour. Be very careful with the baking, it’s as important as the other steps. It’s easy to tell when the baklava is ready, since it gets a beautiful golden brown colour and the layers are clearly visible. Let it cool completely.
- Once the baklava has reached room temperature start preparing the syrup. Add sugar & water in a dip pan and start cooking over medium heat. Once it starts to boil be attentive. Let it boil for around 10 mins and start checking. Keep a spoon on the fridge and use it to test the syrup. Put the spoon in the syrup and if it’s coated with syrup it should be ready.
- Remove the syrup from the heat. Add the juice of half a lemon, remove the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom.
- Pour the hot syrup over the baklava.
- Let the baklava rest for at least 24h before consuming it.